Promoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.
While we still haven't seen any official confirmation from the UFC yet, other than second-hand reports of "confirmation" by Dana White from reliable sources, many are expecting Mirko Cro Cop's UFC return to indeed materialize next month at UFC 99 against Mustapha Al-Turk.
Now Al-Turk has come out and confirmed the bout as well, and also discusses his strategy for Cro Cop in an interview with the UK MIrror's MMA blogger, Chris Granet. The link to the story is here:
I feel good. I feel like I've got the tools and the know-how and the skill to deal with him and beat him," he said. "You know, I've got a good stand-up game - probably not as good as his - and I've got a good ground game. I'm a good wrestler.
"My jiu-jitsu's good. I've got a good chance and I believe in myself, that's the most important thing. It's only three and a half weeks away. It is quite short notice, but hey, you know, I'm stepping up and I'm going to take it to him
"With respect to Cro Cop, he's a southpaw, so I'll have to cater for that, really. So mainly working against a southpaw, moving to the left, that kind of thing."
"We've had to change all the training. It is quite short notice, and it is a steep learning curve to change my game. I've been working eleven weeks to deal with Todd Duffee, but that's changed now and true intelligence is adaptation to environment, so if I can adapt to my environment I can demonstrate true intelligence."
I think it's likely that the UFC will announce the fight this Saturday during the UFC 98 broadcast, as one of Dana's "special announcements", but even with both Cro Cop and Al-Turk discussing the bout publically, this one still remains a rumored fight.
Of course another big story that many are overlooking in the wake of all the Cro Cop-mania, is that of Al-Turk's former opponent Todd Duffee being left completely out of the loop by UFC brass, in regards to him being removed from the fight he had been diligently preparing for.
Duffee posted on the MMA Underground forums on the day the Cro Cop news broke, stating that he didn't believe the reports since he had not been contacted by the UFC about the change, and was still actively training for Al-Turk. Then with Heath Herring dropping out of his fight with Cain Velasquez due to illness, it seemed to make sense that Duffee would step in since he was already in shape and expecting to fight on the card. Instead, the UFC decided to replace Herring with Cheick Kongo, and it now appears that Todd Duffee has been left out to dry, unless the UFC has compensated him in some other manner or arranged for a new fight that hasn't been publically rumored yet.